After the results of the recent ASM election were announced, signs and chants to “stop the steal” have been going on for days outside the ASM offices. Impassioned students have taken it upon themselves to protest the legitimacy of the student government election.
These election deniers claim rampant voter fraud, a rigged counting process and fake ballots as reasons to overturn the results. These claims are entirely unfounded. Experts studying the ASM election have noted no practices or security flaws that would create illegitimate results. The believers, however, won’t take these facts as answers.
Online conspiracies were rampant leading up to the ASM election, creating a setting ripe for denial of the results. “What we’re seeing are the consequences of large social media companies failing to curtail misinformation in student government elections,” stated an election supervisor.
Observers have been questioning if these protestors are actually students. After days of non-stop protest, they must be missing classes. Unfortunately, they really are this passionate about conspiracies regarding the student government election. While many refused to speak to members of the media, we were able to identify them and confirm their enrollment. The transaction logs of the Flamingo Run across the street are requestable via the Freedom of Information Act. With this information, we can confirm that many paid with Wiscard when they left the protest to grab snacks.
What this means for future student government elections remains uncertain. While many dismiss this as a momentary, isolated issue, the most concerned see this as only the beginning of “widespread distrust in the democratic process foundational to the hallowed history of student government.” Others, despite the lack of legitimacy around claims of election fraud, are in favor of increasing security for future ASM elections.
Hopefully ASM can rebuild trust with the community and we can move forward from this as a more united campus.
Jeffrey Brown is a former Arts Editor for the Daily Cardinal. He writes for The Beet occasionally and does some drawing and photography too. He is a senior majoring in Sociology. Do not feed him after midnight.